What can I do with those Darned Leftovers?

We recently had a party and several friends brought veggie trays with dip. The leftovers remained at my house and I wondered what could I do with so many leftover vegetables? My regular plan for leftover ANYTHING is soup…and if I start making that in September, no one will want to eat it during the cold winter months. Well, I woke up early this morning feeling hopeful and rummaged through my fridge to see what other ingredients I could combine with the vegetables to turn them into a delicious meal. Did I mention I have two teens? Did I mention one is vegan?

Beet greens and riced cauliflower add a nice texture and flavor to this dish

From my fridge I first pulled out the veggie trays. They contained carrots, celery, broccoli, mini bell peppers, and pea pods. Next to the trays I saw a roasted chicken from the deli. Maybe I could make some fried rice…except I knew that I was out of eggs, so my non-vegan teen might complain about that. I kept rummaging. Something else was covered in foil…oh, leftover tofu. Could I use that instead of eggs? And behind that I saw a half package of portobello mushrooms, a perfect substitution for meat. I opened up the vegetable crisper in search of green onions. I didn’t find any but I did find some fresh parsley and three huge golden beets. I was definitely going to make fried rice…except instead of rice I decided to use some leftover frozen riced cauliflower.


I cooked the beet greens and riced cauliflower in coconut oil

I put all my supplies on my tiny kitchen counter and got out two large pots. I could make a vegan and a non-vegan version of this dish. I rinsed all the vegetables and removed the green leafy parts of the golden beets. (I scrubbed the beets, sprayed them with coconut oil, wrapped them in foil, and baked them for another use.) I chopped the beet greens and tossed half in each pot with some coconut oil before adding in the riced cauliflower. I wanted this to cook first so that the greens became tender.

While that cooked down, I got out one of my favorite kitchen tools, my Vidalia Chop Wizard, and quickly chopped all the veggies, the parsley, and the tofu. I put equal amounts of mixed veggies (minus the mushrooms) into each pot and let them cook.

Simple seasonings while cooking allow for tasty condiments later

Then I added the portobellos to one pot and the shredded chicken to the other and seasoned both pots with black pepper and onion powder. I left off the salt because my kids like to use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which tastes like soy sauce) and hoisin sauce as condiments, and they add plenty of salty goodness.

I was out of eggs so I used tofu in both versions…chicken “fried rice” (above) and mushroom “fried rice” (below)

So that’s it. I used up leftovers, made a mountain of food for lunch and dinner, and made it all with fresh ingredients in two pots. No fuss, no muss…and no more leftovers! In my book, on a regular Tuesday morning, that was a big win.

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